From: ray on
On Sat, 30 Aug 2008 23:40:55 -0400, Bob Donahue wrote:

> I take a lot of pictures at car shows. The digital cameras I've had to
> date, have trouble rendering white cars in direct sunlight. You can't
> see the curves of the body panels, they come out pure white with no
> shading! Cars that are not white come out beautifully. I'm in the market
> for a new "point and shoot" camera. I've narrowed my choice down to the
> Fujifilm FinePix F100fd or the Nikon CoolPix 610. Both of these models
> are advertised as having special "dynamic range" modes. Which one would
> be my best bet for avoiding washed out highlights?

If you shoot jpeg, you have 8 bits of dynamic range (in each RGB
component) - that's it - because that's all the camera's jpeg format will
support. If you shoot raw you'll have 12 bits or more. The discontinued
Kodak P series EVF long zooms will shoot raw as well as jpeg or tiff. You
can frequently find them on Kodak's online store at great prices.
From: David J Taylor on
ray wrote:
> On Sat, 30 Aug 2008 23:40:55 -0400, Bob Donahue wrote:
>
>> I take a lot of pictures at car shows. The digital cameras I've had
>> to date, have trouble rendering white cars in direct sunlight. You
>> can't see the curves of the body panels, they come out pure white
>> with no shading! Cars that are not white come out beautifully. I'm
>> in the market for a new "point and shoot" camera. I've narrowed my
>> choice down to the Fujifilm FinePix F100fd or the Nikon CoolPix 610.
>> Both of these models are advertised as having special "dynamic
>> range" modes. Which one would be my best bet for avoiding washed out
>> highlights?
>
> If you shoot jpeg, you have 8 bits of dynamic range (in each RGB
> component) - that's it - because that's all the camera's jpeg format
> will support. If you shoot raw you'll have 12 bits or more. The
> discontinued Kodak P series EVF long zooms will shoot raw as well as
> jpeg or tiff. You can frequently find them on Kodak's online store at
> great prices.

Ray, you are mistaken here. If anything, JPEG actually offers the greater
dynamic range because it uses non-linear gamma-corrected encoding, as
opposed to the linear coding of RAW. What JPEG lacks, however, is
precision of representing light levels, plus ths "loss" due to compression
(in most JPEGs).

David


From: David J Taylor on
ASAAR wrote:
> On Sun, 31 Aug 2008 05:55:47 GMT, David J Taylor wrote:
>
>> A small-sensor camera offering up to ISO 12800 I would not trust, as
>> it's simply beyond the laws of physics to produce a reasonable 12MP
>> image. Check for yourself before purchase!
>
> I wouldn't trust this comment unless it's reworded slightly. Are
> you sure that you didn't mean to type something like :
>
>> I wouldn't trust a small-sensor camera's ISO 12,800 offering . . .
>
> Many cameras, including the F100fd and some from Casio, Panasonic
> and Olympus offer very high ISO settings at reduced resolution, and
> that doesn't mean that these cameras can't be trusted. When used at
> lower, more reasonable ISO settings they can produce very good
> images. The F100fd's image quality at ISO 12,800 isn't very good,
> but nobody that is at all familiar with small sensor cameras would
> expect it to be. In fact, it's not all that bad. It won't produce
> great or very good quality 4"x6" snapshots, but what it does produce
> will be usable, and better than what many other small sensor cameras
> can do at much lower ISO settings. Reduced resolution or pixel
> binning leaves a lot to be desired, but it's better than the
> alternative, which is usually a totally unusable image.

Does the F100fd offer 12MP at ISO 12,800? If so, I would expect the
results to be completely unusable, and hence I would have considerable
reduced trust in a camera (or should it be the company?), which has
unusable settings?. As I said, I would advise the buyer to check before
purchase just what the capabilities actually are, and whether the results
are acceptable for their own applications.

But the question here is about the dynamic range, rather than the absolute
ISO sensitivity. It may be that the other capabilities of the camera
would offset poor high-ISO image quality. Here I would expect manual
control (at least exposure compensation), and perhaps RAW output.

David


From: Don Stauffer in Minnesota on
On Aug 31, 12:55 am, "David J Taylor" <david-tay...(a)blueyonder.neither-
this-bit.nor-
>
> Bob, you may be able to save money simply by setting the exposure
> compensation on your existing camera to -1/3 stop - i.e. just under-expose
> a little.
>

> David

I agree. I use the exposure compensation a lot. I figure the little
computer in the camera's metering system cannot know exactly what
parts of the tonal range are of most interest to me. Thank god for
cameras that have a histogram function :-)

Using the exposure compensation to make sure you grab the highlights
is ordinarily an okay procedure. Any digital camera today has a MUCH
wider dynamic range than printing paper has, so you are not going to
be able to see in print the full range the camera captures anyway.
You are always, just like in the film days, faced with the decision to
throw away tones at one extreme or the other (or both) or else greatly
reduce the contrast of the image. For the extreme of the later
decision, look at the increasingly popular HDR techniques.


From: ASAAR on
On Sun, 31 Aug 2008 14:53:24 GMT, David J Taylor wrote:

>> Many cameras, including the F100fd and some from Casio, Panasonic
>> and Olympus offer very high ISO settings at reduced resolution, and
>> that doesn't mean that these cameras can't be trusted. When used at
>> lower, more reasonable ISO settings they can produce very good
>> images. The F100fd's image quality at ISO 12,800 isn't very good,
>> but nobody that is at all familiar with small sensor cameras would
>> expect it to be. In fact, it's not all that bad. It won't produce
>> great or very good quality 4"x6" snapshots, but what it does produce
>> will be usable, and better than what many other small sensor cameras
>> can do at much lower ISO settings. Reduced resolution or pixel
>> binning leaves a lot to be desired, but it's better than the
>> alternative, which is usually a totally unusable image.
>
> Does the F100fd offer 12MP at ISO 12,800? If so, I would expect the
> results to be completely unusable, and hence I would have considerable
> reduced trust in a camera (or should it be the company?), which has
> unusable settings?. As I said, I would advise the buyer to check before
> purchase just what the capabilities actually are, and whether the results
> are acceptable for their own applications.

David, why do you *insist* on ignoring the most important points
only to come back with a reply addressing a minor point that shows
that you'd rather attempt to prove that what you said was correct if
only your mistaken assumption was true? It appears that you didn't
even read the sentences that you quoted above, where I explicitly
stated that the F100fd offers ISO 12,800 at reduced resolution. No,
the F100fd does NOT offer 12MP at ISO 12,800. That ISO is only
available at resolutions of 3mp and lower. If you read my reply to
the OP you could have followed the links to reviews that showed what
the ISO 12,800 results look like instead of assuming the worst. As
you quoted but evidently didn't read, the ISO 12,800 IQ "isn't very
good", but it is quite usable for 4"x6" snapshots. It may not
produce the best 4"x6" image quality you've ever seen, but it's more
acceptable than most other small sensor cameras that also have
reduced resolution, high ISO modes.

More worrying is that you completely ignored my point that even if
the ISO 12,800 results were bad, it shouldn't cause someone to
assume, as you did, that it would not only make the results
completely unusable, but that it should be grounds for not trusting
the camera or even any other cameras that Fuji makes, which is what
you actually typed. That's complete nonsense and I'm sure that
there are other manufacturers and their cameras that you'd never
judge so unreasonably. As I said, Casio, Panasonic and Olympus are
also "guilty" of producing cameras with reduced resolution, high ISO
modes. Do you want to stand by your statement and hint that Casio,
Panasonic and Olympus cameras should be prejudged, and you'll also
have "considerable reduced trust" for those brands as well?


> But the question here is about the dynamic range, rather than the absolute
> ISO sensitivity. It may be that the other capabilities of the camera
> would offset poor high-ISO image quality. Here I would expect manual
> control (at least exposure compensation), and perhaps RAW output.

Yes, the other capabilities "may" offset poor high-ISO image
quality, but you don't seem to want us to assume that to be the case
as you've already let us know that the camera and its manufacturer
probably can't be trusted.

Manual control and RAW output aren't needed however, to get very
good image quality. As reviews noted, Fuji's F30 (or perhaps the
F31) produced better jpeg results out of the camera than the much
larger, more sophisticated S6000 which used the same sensor. When
the S6000's RAW images were processed and compared, only then did
they approach the same image quality, but didn't actually surpass
it. Surprising perhaps, as this isn't usually the case with other
brands, but Fuji seems to be able to get more out of in-camera jpeg
processing than other companies manage.

The F100fd's expanded dynamic range, by the way, is only available
at ISOs up to and including ISO 400, and at those ISOs image quality
is noticeably better than the other cameras managed. According to
the reviews and the test images, Fuji's DR appears to work pretty
well. But as we've both already said, solving the OP's blown
highlights problem might be solved by simply using some exposure
compensation, rather than requiring a new camera.